I grew up during the sixties in a home where my brothers and I had to compete with music for our mom's attention: the blues-influenced rock-n-roll of Janis Joplin, Traffic, Jefferson Starship, and The Who all blasted regularly from her sound system alongside the shouts and grooves in the soulful music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. My mother brought my brothers and me to our first concert before I was ten: a double-bill performance with James Taylor and Carole King at the Rochester Community War Memorial, a concert that left my young girl self amazed by the magic of live music. My girlfriends and I learned to play guitar at our hippie “free” school by picking Bob Dylan’s “Copper Kettle” and Peter, Paul, and Mary’s version of the spiritual, “Rock My Soul.”
Later, during my teen years, I studied modern dance with Garth Fagan Dance, a practice that encouraged me all the more to listen closely to music. Music surrounded my life; it provided the grooves, rhythms, and beats that kept me moving.
I worked for the Savannah Music Festival and for the Western North Carolina Jazz Society. I volunteer for Duke Performances and for the Carolina Theatre, allowing me the opportunity to experience an array of diverse musical performances on their stages. I am currently working on a fictional story about jazz music in the early 20th century, inspired my late-grandmother’s love of the music. I have written music reviews for Nathan Bell, The Gravy Boys, Meshell Ndegeocello and Wycliffe Gordon and will continue to do so for more!
Visit my personal blog Minor Occurrences and More where I write essays about music, family, chance meetings, and rocks.
Songwriter and guitarist Nathan Bell’s recent release, Blood Like a River, is a beautiful album that gives testimony to our wish as humans to be invincible and timeless while also giving credence to those moments when the thought of fading out like a numbed junkie on the streets, checked out from the abrasiveness of life, doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. It’s an album where a robber’s stick-up becomes a metaphor for losing nothing and accepting everything. Blood…Continue
Posted on February 9, 2014 at 9:00pm
Hearing accomplished musicians in one genre seamlessly shift into another makes my heart happy because I love a range of music: from jazz to Americana, to pop and R&B. For this reason and more, Missy Raines and the New Hip make my heart swoon with happiness on their latest release New Frontier produced by Raines and fellow band member Ethan Ballinger along with Ben Surratt. The interactions between IBMA…Continue
Posted on November 11, 2013 at 2:00pm
"Black Crow Blue," the title track from Nathan Bell’s most recent album on Stone Barn Records, opens with the question: “Have you ever seen a sky so wide/That you could fit the whole world inside. I have.” He then inquires, “Baby, can you see me now?” Here in this tender ballad, inspired by writer Glen…Continue
Posted on January 14, 2013 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments
I still listen to local radio although mostly during road trips. I weave in and out of stations just like driving in and out of small towns and cities. Like colorful regions, great songs on the radio get our attention, capture our imagination. They call us to slow down and take them in. I came back to…Continue
Posted on January 12, 2013 at 7:00pm